tv Amanpour on PBS PBS September 7, 2018 12:00am-12:31am PDT
hello, everyone, and welcome to amanpour on pbs. here's what's coming up tonight. the world and especially the white house is consumed with the question, which senior trump official is anonymous? the author of that scathing op-ed against the president they serve. >> anonymous, meaning gutless, a gutless editorial. >> as president trump lashes out, we ask is the explosive article courageous or does it subvert the constitution? also ahead from despair comes dignity, from pain comes power. a new documentary, city of joy,
tells the up lifting story of a refuge in the democratic republic of congreo for women w survived rape as a weapon of war. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> welcome to the program, everyone. i'm christiane amanpour in new york. a sense of siege seems to be gripping the capital after explosive exposes even from within the white house. many top trump administration officials and cabinet secretaries have been forced to deny that they are, quote, anonymous. after "the new york times" published an op-ed unsigned but claiming to be by a senior official. the column asserts a quite elt resistance exists within the corridors of power working to preserve democratic institutions from the president's, quote, whims. coming just a day after the legendary watergate journalist bob woodward's new book which
paints staffers actively working against their own president to protect national security, the latest revelations including this quote. there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th amendment. that's the one that would seek to remove a president from office for being mentally or physically unfit. unsurprisingly, members of the cabinet have come out strongly against the article and its author. here's what vice-president mike pence said today. >> anyone who would write an anonymous edorial smearing this president who has provided extraordinary leadership to this country should not be working for this administration. they ought to do the honorable thing and they ought to resign. >> i'm joined now by mike lauder, the former vice secretary to the president and david from, senior editor of the atlantic now. gentlemen, welcome to the program. this is an extraordinary situation. i don't think anybody can point
to a precedent. but let me ask you first, mark lauder, since you were the press secretary. you just heard mike pence. isn't it extraordinary that he and others had to deny being anonymous? >> well, it is. i think it's the time we live where information and news cycles are about 20 seconds long. but it's important for everyone to know, especially with rampant speculation going throughout the media and discussion in washington, d.c. about who this is, that the president -- the vice-president was not it nor would anyone on his staff be that kind of person. >> let me turn to you, david. i guess i want to get from both of you, i know from what mark has just said his reaction to it, what is your reaction to the substance of the commentary in that op-ed, and the fact that it was unsigned? >> the op-ed confirms and corroborates the mountain -- accumulating mountain of evidence that the president's physical, moral and machine tal
incapacity. this is a president -- this is the most scandalous president, that had the most scandalous administration ever. and obviously the president's mental faculties are rapidly deteriorating. the story in bob woodward's book, he was about to tear up the free trade agreement. gary cohn, principal economic advisor, took it away. and the president like a puppy completely forgot and never asked to see it again. we are in a crisis. my reaction to that, i appreciate the additional piece of testimony, but being anonymous means that we are now discussing the anonymity of the writer rather than confronting the crisis that the writer told us about and asking what to do with it -- about it. the core of his claim is that the president is being cut out of his own administration. many of us would prefer, probably most of us -- most people in the administration would prefer a president, a mattis presidency to a trump presidency. but that's not the way the constitution provides. it provides -- the constitution
does provide solutions for a presidency that is unfit. >> when i just -- i'll get to the solutions in a second. but let me ask you, mark lauder. clearly you disagree with the substance of what was written. does it concern you that a lot of what was written actually does bolster, and particularly in bob woodward's words, and he is an unimpeachable journalist for decades and decades, bowelsters what people have been saying in the administration, within the white house practically since this administration got off the ground? >> and i have a lot of respect for bob woodward, but i will remind that every president going back to clinton and barack obama and bush disagreed with quotes attributed in his previous books. what we are also seeing, this op-ed, even though it is unsigned and very critical and we don't know where this person works or whether he is in fact, or her, a senior official. but it also talks about the great successes that are being achieved by this administration.
they go on to say it wouldn't have happened -- it happened despite president trump. i would argue it happened because president trump because you're not going to get tax cuts, deregulation and the things that's launched this strong economy under a president hillary clinton. >> so, let me ask you. of course democrats would say the strong economy did start under president obama and the unemployment rate h employment rate has been going steadily up. getting to the idea of how, if you feel the necessity to complain and to highlight the alleged weaknesses of any commander in chief, what is the best way to do it? let me just play this sound bite from senator -- former senator and former secretary of state john kerry, he spoke to stephen colbert last night about it. >> you're not supposed to have a resistance within the white house to prevent your president from breaking the law or doing something that's irrational and
dangerous. [ cheers and applause ] >> you're not supposed to do s house who take an oath of office to defend the constitution and defend the united states of america, are actually defending their own power, defending their own positions, and they're not defending the constitution or the institution of the senate. they're defending party and president, and that's wrong. [ applause ] >> it's just wrong. >> and he also went on to say they're more concerned about their electoral chances and their base than about speaking out. so i want to ask both of you about -- there's been obviously a lot of complaints that this subverts the constitutional processes. david from, what should this person have done if they were that concerned as they seem to be about the commander in chief? >> well, people in national
security roles should serve as long as they can. people in other roles have to think very hard because this those other roles the presidency is careening much faster to disaster. that is especially true in the trade agreement. you need to make -- you need to resign and make your resignation count. resign in groups. have people come together. and when you resign, come out and be prepared unlike gary cohn in that story to tell bob woodward months later about calamitous events inside the administration. go on the record. speak in your name. insist on testifying before a congressional committee. c confront the country the danger it is in from this incapacitated president. and then we have mechanisms, the 25th amendment, impeachment process, even congress that will do some oversight at last. to put some restraints on a presidency that is the most scandalous in american history. >> i mean, we have seen a republican dominated congress really not face up to many of the issues surrounding the president of the united states.
so, let me just ask mark, you know, he was there. you've been there, you've been press secretary to the vice-president. have you ever in the time you spent within the administration, seen any evidence of what we've been told for months and more than that now, that there is sort of despair in some quarters of the white house about, about this president and his agenda? did you ever see any evidence or intuit any evidence of any kind of resistance? >> absolutely not. in fact, i can deny plainly -- there were never discussions about the 25th amendment and i have not seen or heard of it. and i'll also say i traveled with the president just last thursday, a week ago today, spent about an hour speaking to him on air force one. and we talked about the things that the american people are talking about. he wants to talk about nafta and getting canada on board. finalizing a trade agreement with the e.u. strengthening our military confronting north korea and those were the things along with
the mid terms that consumed our conversation. they were completely cogent. he was very engaged on that. so all of my interaction was him, whenever i see people talking about incapacity and things, that's more wishful thinking for overturning an outcome politically they did not like. it's not reflective in reality. >> we can continue -- yes? >> we wouldn't have the volume of leaks from this administration if other people in the administration felt the same way mark does. this is an administration that is seething with dislike for its own choof. >> it is extraordinary. of course it is making waves around the world as well as world leaders try to get the measure of what is going on. david and mark, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> and now we turn from trouble at the top of the pyramid in washington to a grassroots movement in africa, bringing together women who have survived horrific violence in the democratic republic of congo. the documentary, city of joy, is
about a community center in a country that's dubbed the worst place on earth to be a woman. hundreds of thousands of women have been raped and tortured since relentless wars broke out in the late '90s. the center gives traumatized victims the chance to rediscover themselves and hopefully the joys of life despite their unspeakable atrocities. it was set up by a doctor, dennis, founder of the pansy hospital where many of these women are treated. and the american play right eve. she is the author of the vagina monologue whods work and performances have 4ehelped to fd the project. i met them ahead of the documentary's premiere. as you would expect, some of the content is tough to watch and lear. -- hear. >> eve, christine, welcome to the program. alma thank you. >> i'm happy to be here. >> what is it that brought you two very different people with a common cause together? how did you even meet?
eve, how did you find christine? or vice versa. >> you tell the story because it's funny. she didn't want to be my friend. >> no, i didn't want to meet her because in 2017 she was interviewed -- the director of the hospital. and when he came back, he just told me, i met this amazing woman. her name is eve. she's a little bit like you and you have to meet her. a little bit like you. >> a little bit like you. the international symbol for crazy. >> that's what it is. and then i didn't know who she was. and then by the time he told me she was a celebrity, i was like, no thank you because i had enough of celebrity who came to congo. i heard that they were bolemic and misery and they left us with business cards so i refused. then one day, you know, it was a sunday i was at the hospital and they brought me to little children. they arrived and i was there, one was 3, the other one was 4. they raped. so the moment you don't know who
you can share the tears. all my friends just wanted me to give up. so, i don't know, i took this piece of paper that she sent, you know, with her phone -- phone number and e-mail and i called her. i told her, for the first time in my life i can kill. she told me she's coming and she came. talking to women, interviewing women in the congo and asking them what they wanted. what do you need? and what they needed was a place, a revolutionary center where they could be healed, where they could be safe, where they could be trained and where they could turn their pain to power, where they could become essentially the leaders in congo. >> and these were women who had suffered rape. >> every woman at city of joy
has been through sexual abuse or some kind of violence. and very severe violence. >> and why congo? i mean, in all the reading -- and i've been to congo several times. what is it about that place? obviously it's one of the poorest if not the poorest country in the world despite its massive natural resources. it's also one of the most violent places to be a woman. what is it about the congo, christine? >> i think it wasn't like this before. this is something that was brought, you know, with the war. as you know, the war we had in congo, it was like an african world war with i think nine countries were involved. and because it was an economic war so they wanted to plunder congo so they had to use rape as a weapon of war, you know, to terrorize the population, for them to leave their villages so they can come and be there and plunder and plunder the whole thing. >> i also want to say if you want to look at where
colonialism, racism, capitalism, and misogyny has come together in the most fiery caldron in the world, it's congo. it's outside agents operating in the congoal ease. they didn't know rape in their community before the war. >> you just mentioned jane, she's one of the people who figure very prominently in your documentary. you follow several women, a class of women who for want of a better word graduate from the city of joy, which is the center of safety, a center of empowerment for them. this is what jane says about what she suffered. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> listening to that, you actually can't even believe that that can happen to people. how common is that, christine? >> i think unfortunately it often happens. and i have to say the level of violence, the level of brutality i think -- i don't know if you find that in other, in other countries. and it's also proof that it's a way to terrorize people like -- it goes beyond imagination. >> you spoke about how the doctor got you together. he basically said in congo, the fact we have no memory means we tend to repeat history. that goes to the impunity that you're talking about, eve. so, what is it that your work,
that the city of joy can do to make a dent in this culture of impunity, and to empower women who are not looking for aid, are they? they're not looking for handouts. they want to come together to change their -- to change their reality. >> i would say that one of the wonderful things about city of joy is that it's owned, directed, operated and determined by the women of congo and the people of congo. i would say that what's happening there is grassroots women who have been on the front lines of the worst violence are being transformed through love, through healing, through knowing their rights, through self-defense, through amazing programs to become leaders in their own communities. when they go home, they literally are becoming the spokespeople, the leaders who are determining so much for other women and men in their communities. what i believe is when we have enough women in the congo who have taken back their power, who have a vision of the future, we will have a real radulov cat change in the congo. >> i want to play this final observation from jane, the woman
whose story is so horrendous like many of the others. she garage watsz from this class of the city of joy and this is what she says about what she gained. [ speaking foreign language ] >> how important is that idea of accepting herself and what's happened to her so that she can go back into the community without shame, but to be able to do what you say that they want to do, rise up?
>> well, i think it's a whole, it's a whole process. because, you know, most of the women when they are raped, the family, they don't want them, they don't want them any more. and like eve said, city of joy is about love and about -- we value women. because when they come, they feel they are ugly, they smell bad, you know. but when they are at city of joy and it's part of our program just to tell them how beautiful they are, and that there is a life after, after the rape. like jane, she -- you know, she doesn't have a virginagina any . she's happy to be alive and to help others. now she has a mission. i need to be there for others. i'm so happy to be alive. i'm so happy not to have all the sexual diseases because we do have other girls who have hiv and things. she's like, oh, my god, i'm
still very happy. i don't have all these. >> even though she's been so brutalized. >> i think when you meet jane, you understand what a -- a kind of -- i see her as close to god as one can get. she's somebody who has gone through the worst violence. she's had over i think 10 or 12 operations. her body -- >> 11. >> 11 operations. her body has been desecrated. and yet her spirit, her love for the other women, her care for the other women has literally lifted her and guided her to another place. >> is this what you hope the documentary will do to spread that -- what was the reason for making the documentary? >> i think it was, first of all, i think it's very important for people not to forget that there is still a war going on, you know, a silent war because nobody is talking about what's going on in congo any more. most of the people, they think that the war is over. and also not to always -- for
people to see what's negative because i think the city of joy is a positive film. it shows when you empower -- we don't need -- we don't assist people. we just empower them for them to take their own destiny. that's the way -- that's the only way you can change a community. >> i just want to say if it's true, it's probably an underestimation, that one in three on the planet have been raped or beaten, which is a billion women, it means a lot of women, most of us have either had that experience or witnessed that experience. there are many, many women on this planet who need to know and need to go through a process where they can take that pain and transform that pain into their greatest power, to turn that poison into medicine. and i think when you see women who have been through the worst violations -- and not in a phony, faky sentimental way, saying, i'm happy.
i forgive -- it's not like that. it's really a deep, deep process of going into that pain, facing that pain, reckoning with that pain, and coming out the other side. and i think if women around the world had six months where they could put their children aside for a second, where they could put all their concerns aside for a second and they could focus just on their trauma and just on what they've been through, and going through a journey and a process where they could get their energy and their sexuality and their power back, this planet would change overnight. imagine that, a billion women going through a process like that. >> and of course, you tapped into that with vagina monologues. we'll get to that in a second. i want to ask you, christine, because you do actually have a fascinating story and a fascinating history. your father comes from a very a ri aristocratiic family.
he married a congolese world. how did that go down in white aristocratic europe? >> he met my mother, a tea catcher, he fell in love with her. of course they refused my father because they were extremely racist. so my father had to leave the house because he had to make a choice. and he choose my poor mother. so since i was a little child, that's how i became activist, an activist because i saw my mother suffering just because she was black, because my mother is the nicest person you can meet. i refuse to -- i refuse to see that and to accept it. and so i think it helped me.
i'm very -- i have to say i'm very happy because it helped me to become the woman i am, the activist i am. >> and, eve, you've transformed a lot of people's pain to power with vagina monologue starting in 1996 and we're going to play the iconic opening part of it. >> i bet you're worried. i was worried. that's why i began this piece. i was worried about vaginas. i was worried what we think about vaginas and i was even more worried that we don't think about them. i was worried about my own vagina. it needed a context, a community, a culture of other vaginas. there is so much darkness and secrecy surrounding them, like the bermuda triangle. nobody ever reports back from there. >> i mean, that still brings a smile. it's still really radically funny and still very painful and it's political. is it still relevant today, you
know, it empowered so many, some people say suburban women to get in touch with their vaginas, with their femininity, their rights? >> this is the last year of the vagina monologues. no, i'd like to believe the play is outdated. i dream of the day people say we don't need this play any more. there is no violence against women. every woman loves her vagina, knows where her clitoris is. we know we have value. we know there is no shame. i'm sad to say i think we have a long way to go because as we move forward as women, as feminists, patriarchy is so insistent, so insidious, it will move over here and push us back from this direction. and so i think now -- i mean, looking at judge kavanagh and a
man who could literally reverse the rights we have struggled for for how many years. >> president trump's supreme court nominee. >> right. look how many years with trump we've been pushed back. they're always in the wings waiting. not the wings, they're still center stage. until that, i think the vagina monologues will be relevant. each generation grows up and it's funny, you think, okay, the play has reached this pocket of people but then you realize it hasn't reached this pocket of people. there are new generations growing up whose mothers haven't been able to say the word vagina yet to them. they're learning how to do that. >> still making waves. it's great to hear from you. eve and christine, thank you so much indeed for joining he. >> thank you. great to be here. >> and their city of joy documentary premieres on netflix this friday. that is it for our program tonight. thanks
katty: you are watching "beyond 100 days" on pbs. richard nixon had deep throat. donald trump has deep-state-throat. an anonymous white house official throws the administration into turmoil. christian: denials from staff doesn't stop speculation that the "new york times" opinion piece reflects reality. katty: mr. trump is furious that a member of his own team has betrayed him publicly and there's a fair amount of criticism from both the author and the newspaper. british and russian officials clash at the you and several companies to for the u.k.'s conclusion that the kremlin almost certainly approved the poisoning of a former russian spy. >> they played